Finding the right venue for your child’s birthday party can be tricky. This guide will help you find the right birthday party venue for your kids.

Indoor playgrounds : Petting zoos and wildlife parks : Family restaurants : Enchanted worlds : Choosing a venue

We all want to provide a fabulous birthday party for our children, but organising a great party can take hours, and sometimes it’s time we just don’t have. Party venues do all the preparation for you, and make the party day itself hassle-free.

The benefits of using a party venue really come into play when you are organizing a party for 8 children or more. Let’s face it – there is only so much sugar-hyped-activity one Mum (and house) can take. Having your child’s party at a venue means you don’t have to worry about stains on the carpet, (before or after the party!), there are no neighbours to annoy, and when the party is over you can retreat to the quiet sanity of your own home.

Party venues vary in size and price, but most can tailor make a birthday package to suit your budget. Whether it’s with invitations or without, your own cake or theirs, party venues know what works and what doesn’t. All party venues offer stress-free parties, but the trick is finding a venue that suits the age, stage, and personality of your child.

Here are our favourite party venue ideas for young children aged 3 – 7 years.

Indoor Playgrounds

Indoor playgrounds are an all time favourite with young children, and they really are hassle free. Most playgrounds have party rooms where the birthday child can welcome their guests, unwrap any presents, and of course, eat the party food. The rooms are usually hired out for 1 ½ – 2 hours, which means you can safely stash all your belongings while the kids enjoy the playground.

The menus at indoor playgrounds are usually pretty basic, but most children at this age are more interested in playing than eating. Standard options include things like chicken nuggets, mini hotdogs, fries and a drink, and most playgrounds can also provide a cake if you haven’t made one yourself.

If you want to add another dimension to your child’s party, the playground can organise a visit from a special character, and some will also arrange some simple games such as ‘Pass the Parcel’ or ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’. These extras can be a lot of fun, but many children would rather just go and play. Try to keep things simple and stress-free, after all that’s why you are at a venue to start with.

Birthday parties at an indoor playground start from about $15 per person, and you will have to pay for the number booked even if some guests don’t arrive. When making the booking, make sure you ask if there is a charge for parents who may want to stay and help out.

Petting Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Young children love animals, especially small creatures that they can pet and handle. This makes petting zoos and wildlife parks great places to host a party, and you can make the occasion as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Most petting zoos and wildlife parks have picnic areas, and often a barbeque is available for you to use at a small charge. You can either pack a simple picnic, or pick up some takeaways on the way. We have some great ideas for picnic party food in our Party Food section, or check out themed food ideas in our Animal Antics article.

Some petting zoos also have a café which could cater for your party, however not all of them have a specific party menu. If you plan on eating at the café, you may like to phone ahead of time and check what type of food is available. With enough warning, most cafes will arrange a set menu for your party to save hassles and decision making on the day.

Entry to petting zoos and wildlife parks vary greatly depending on the size of the venue, and what part of the country they are in, however most offer a group rate for 10 children or more.

Family Restaurants

Some popular family restaurants offer birthday parties which consist of a set menu, a cake, and a party host to facilitate a few simple games. The whole experience is usually over in about an hour, which is perfect for really young children who get tired and scratchy at the drop of a hat.

Depending on the age of the child, you may like to encourage parents to stay for ‘crowd control’. Restaurant parties have the potential to get out of hand if one or two children decide that they are bored.

For the most part, parents won’t expect you to feed them at a restaurant party, but it might be a nice idea to offer them a cup of coffee.

Enchanted Worlds

Young children adore make-believe, and birthdays are a great chance to indulge in their imagination and let them play pretend. There are all sorts of party venues around which offer customized parties in a truly enchanted world, and at this age, children will believe every second of it. If you want something truly special, then these types of venues will provide a party that is remembered for years to come.

Specialised party venues really put on a good show, and cater for all sorts of themes including fairies, elves, pirates, princesses and more. The venue is usually specially painted with plenty of props, costumes, games, activities, and a party host to pull it altogether. These hosts are used to dealing with lots of children, so you won’t need to call on extra parents to stay if they don’t want to.

These types of parties sometimes cost a little more than other party venues, but you really do get what you pay for. Specialised party venues charge around $20 – $30 per child, depending on the type of party you choose.

When choosing a venue for this age group, make sure you:

  • Check if there is a charge for parents who want to stay. Many young children simply won’t cope if Mum disappears, and it’s just not worth the hassle.
  • Arrange a meeting point – especially if the venue has more than one entrance.
  • Make it clear what (or who) is being paid for. You shouldn’t have to pay for younger siblings who end up staying because Mum has.
  • Tell everyone a specific pick-up time. You don’t want to be left waiting for one parent because you said “around about” 4pm.

Above all else, remember to have fun. The biggest benefit of choosing to use a venue, is that they do it all for you. Make the most of it – next year you might celebrate at home!

Child’s Birthday gift? Find a great selection of popular Books & Authors.

Age: 0  1  2  3  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 Years Old


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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